A Day in Melbourne
Melbourne is undeniably on the top of most people’s lists when it comes to travelling around Australia. With its cozy laneways, high end shopping, vibrant art scene, and let’s not forget the coffee and food culture that is dripping from every street in this classic city. Most people consider the words Melbourne and coffee to be synonymous with one another. Melbourne simply would not be complete without its coffee culture. The city is literally bursting with cafés and actually boasts the highest density of cafes and restaurants per capita in the world.
This peaceful and classic beauty of a city is quite contrasting to the modern vibrance of Sydney and is often considered the cultural hub of Australia. The allure of this city is not lost on many as it often falls in the list of the “world’s most livable cities” year after year. This lively, cultural, artistic, coffee bleeding city will never cease to amaze you. From the colorful nightlife to the world renowned sporting events and history, to the dynamic art scene there is something here for everyone. Now it would take a lifetime to thoroughly explore this gem of a metropolis but we have put together a list of things that you can accomplish in one day, it is a list of our favorites and what we consider to be the quintessential Melbourne activities.
To begin with you must start with the heart and soul of this city, the foodie coffee café culture that is simply unavoidable and best experienced in one of Melbourne’s classic laneways. Now for those of you who don't know a laneway is a tiny little pedestrian street which is often overflowing with cafes, bars, people, art, and everything you can possibly imagine. Melbourne is the city of laneways, when exploring the CBD especially you will often find yourself mesmerized by the tiny cafes that have seemingly overflowed onto the tiny streets full of happy patrons and smiling staff.
So this is where we recommend you start your day. Specifically at our favorite breakfast spot called The Hardware Société. Nestled in the heart of the Melbourne laneway culture you will get the full café, coffee and laneway experience at this spot. Be sure to arrive early as there is often a line for seating even before the doors open, but believe us it is well worth the wait. So grab a coffee on your walk there and enjoy the morning. Once inside you will feel as if transported to a cozy Parisian apartment where you have been invited to enjoy breakfast with modern white furniture, delectable sweets lining the glass counter in the front, and a tantalizing fusion menu feature Australian brunch staples with a European flare.
Once your appetite for food, coffee and laneways is satisfied it is time to fully immerse yourself in Melbourne’s art scene, starting with one of our favorite spots which is believe it or not another laneway. Hosier Lane is arguably the center point of the city’s street art scene. The classic cobblestone laneway is covered from head to toe with someone’s special creative mark. Even the bins in this laneway are uniquely painted. Grab a perfect selfie on this iconic street and then get ready to see the other end of the Melbourne art scene. Next stop is the National Gallery of Victoria. This free museum has everything from ancient Egyptian art to post modern impressionism.
After you have had your fill of the fine arts it is time to head across the street for a breath of fresh air. Here you will find the Royal Botanic Gardens which is an expansive and beautiful 36 hectare green oasis in the heart of Australia’s second largest city. The pleasant green area is host to heaps of foot paths, cozy secluded picnic spots as well as a war memorial, the Shrine of Remembrance, with a great lookout point to view the gardens from above with the stunning Melbourne skyline rising in the background.
As the afternoon is winding down it is time to head to Queen Victoria Market. This massive open air market is a mix between a food market and a flea market selling everything from clothing to souvenirs. This market is definitely a necessary stop for your Australian adventures and one of the best places to find unique gifts to take home for friends and family. This market originally opened in the 1860s and covers two whole city blocks bursting to the brim with jewelry, handmade artisan goods, gourmet food, clothing, souvenirs, and much more. With over 600 stalls you will be sure to find what you are after.
Now the next item on the itinerary is one of Melbourne's best kept secrets and tourist hacks, that is if you are up for it. Most tourists will flock to the Eureka Sky Deck and pay $22 to see the views of the city from above. Now here is the best tourist hack we can offer you for Melbourne. Skip the Sky deck. Slip into your finest dining attire and make a booking for drinks at the famous Lui Bar. Here you will be treated like the royalty that you are as you ascend up to the 55th level of the Rialto Towers smack in the middle of the CBD. From you here you can look down over the Yarra river as you sip your buggee cocktail in a cocktail lounge dripping with wall to wall decadence and luxury all with the backdrop of the city skyline that cannot be missed in the ceiling to floor windows that flow through the drinks venue. Drinks here are about $26 each so for a mere $4 extra you will get to experience the luxurious side of Melbourne fine dining as well as the same stunning city views that you would have found at the Eureka sky deck.
Now after you have taken in the stunning views of our favorite skyline, watching as the sun casts its golden glow on the city below and the lights come alive and decorate the city in its nighttime allure. It is time for dinner. If your wallet allows it we strongly recommend a splurge at one of our favorite fusion restaurants called Chin Chin. Be sure to make a booking ahead of time so you won’t miss the opportunity to experience this famous Melbourne eatery featuring South-East Asian flavors that will have you raving about this meal long after it has disappeared from your plate.
From here your tiny little feet might be ready to take you to have a much deserved rest or they might be ready to hit the dance floor and carry you into the wee hours of the morning as you enjoy Melbourne’s vibrant nightlife. Whatever path you follow Melbourne will be able to support you with a morning coffee pick me up or late night munchies on the way home from the bar. You can see why we love this bustling metropolis so much. With something to offer for everyone and a new discovery around every corner, whether you have one day or a whole lifetime you will always find new ways for this city to surprise you.